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How Churchill Community College supported staff and improved learning with iPad

When Churchill Community College wanted to implement a 1:1 iPad scheme in their school, Deputy Head David Baldwin knew that in order for it to be successful, he needed a strong vision and plan in place, and he needed to get staff on board. We spoke to him about how they used iPad to deliver training to senior leadership and make their iPad scheme a success.


Conal Siddall

Where did you begin with your 1:1 iPad scheme?

“For us, it wasn’t about where to begin, but rather why we should start. Back in 2012, we were rated as a Good school by Ofsted. Our results were improving, and we had a real focus on what makes good teaching – but we wanted to look at what we could improve to become Outstanding. We realised our students didn’t have fast access to technology, so they couldn’t get the information and tools they needed as easily as they could with other resources.

“Things were changing in primary schools, and the progress we were making in secondary wasn’t keeping pace. We could see that if we rolled out iPad across the school, we could enhance lessons for the students, give teachers instant access to resources, and there would be less time wasted going to and from computer labs.”


How did you get staff on board with the project?

“We approached staff who could test things out and champion the new project, to see whether it improved their teaching or not. We chose a selection of advocates from staff who were already using our current technology well, and did lots of research in primary schools to prepare.

“Outside of secondary, there were amazing things happening with classroom technology, and we had a benchmark to aim at. We needed to drive staff capability, improving the expectation of all staff, across class sets, departments and special teachers. We did this through professional learning training, utilising iPad Leaders and Digital Leaders.”


How did you ensure the project was achieving its aims?

“We used a model for improvement, which was a cyclical process, going from diagnosing, where we were to conducting therapy sessions, before testing and refining, and then going back to the diagnosis stage. We’ve actually used the iPads to help the diagnosis stage, so we can tell if the students are in a better place. Our model makes sure to retest to find out whether our improvements have helped, and the iPads allow us to compare results and compile feedback much more easily.”


Transitioning to a full 1:1 deployment

Churchill eventually got to the stage where all of the staff were using iPad. That worked really well with individual staff and their planning, but they were still sharing class sets of iPads out – the scheme didn’t make a big difference with students because they didn’t have their own devices. So, the next step was getting a device in the hands of every pupil…


How did you move from shared sets of iPad to a full 1:1 deployment?

“We spent the next year understanding how primary schools were acquiring full-class sets for 1:1 deployment, and how to use them to empower students as well as teachers. We needed a model for getting the devices and infrastructure to support them, and one that convinced parents about the benefits.

“We decided to take a staggered approach to roll out devices over five years, to help staff grow and develop with the technology as each new year group came through. Jigsaw24 really helped with their technical expertise, they assisted us when we needed the infrastructure to support the new devices. With Jigsaw24’s help, we could reassure parents, get new devices when needed, keep staff on board and continue their training.”


What were the main risks you faced during the project?

“iPad schemes have worked brilliantly in primary, but we were unsure whether it would work in secondary with separate teachers – that was the biggest threat. We had to think whether it would distract from other skills such as writing, would it be financially viable, and would the school need to invest too much. None of which then ended up being a reality. Parents saw the need and benefits, and we planned for those who needed support in paying, and the teachers were on board because we prepared them before the rollout began.”

Getting graded Outstanding by Ofsted

Churchill have already seen the results, because during their iPad scheme they were regraded by Ofsted to Outstanding, receiving consistent positive feedback about what they were doing to improve learning with technology. But, it also had a big impact on their staff and students in general.


What do you think had the biggest impact on your Ofsted grade?

“Inside schools, it’s hard to say one particular thing has made a difference. What we can see in class is that children are more motivated, can access information more readily and are making more rapid progress.

“During the project, we were regraded by Ofsted to Outstanding, receiving consistent positive feedback about our iPad scheme. The staff remained positive throughout because they didn’t have to run around getting hold of tech, which impacted positively on their workload and let them plan lessons with access to technology a guarantee.”


The results included: 

  • • 100% of students report that they are more confident with iPad since staff underwent professional learning training.
  • • 94% of students say lessons are more enjoyable since introducing iPad.
  • Students are helping each other – 69% of Non-Digital Leaders report helping others.
  • • 72% of students say that they made similar or better use of iPad than in their primary school.
  • • 71% of Year 7 students say they enjoy Numeracy in Tutor Time as a result of iPad.


It’s easy to see that David’s well planned and researched method for change is what helped make Churchill’s rollout so successful. As he said, “It’s about leadership, being brave and moving in a different direction, underpinned with effective staff training. It’s also about making sure the whole thing makes staff’s lives easier to help them get on with good teaching.”

Want to know more about leadership and implementing change through iPad? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 290 or email For all the latest news, inspiration and events, follow us on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

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